Swimming evolved several times in treetop ants

Swimming evolved several times in treetop ants

At least 10 ant species can rescue themselves after falling from the forest canopy

By Susan Milius, 18:35 PM June 13, 2014

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In the tropics, some ants living high in trees can swim well if an accident — or a scientist — drops them into water.

Some form of swimming has evolved independently several times in ants, says Steve Yanoviak of the University of Louisville in Kentucky. In swim tests, the champs powered across the water at more than three body lengths per second, he and Dana Frederick of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock report in the June 15 Journal of Experimental Biology.

Tropical ants ...

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